Repairs

“Simpler to buy a new shirt”.
Ever heard that one before by someone who can’t or won’t sew?
Yet how many of us actually repair things?
I’m not talking about cars and the like I’m talking clothes, sleeping bags, rucksacks, etc.
Most fabrics are repairable.
The old proverb of “A stitch in time saves nine” is a good thing to remember.
External clothing and equipment needs constant attention as keeping it in good condition retains its insulation and waterproofing capabilities.

It’s a VERY worrying fact that a lot of people can’t sew (especially the fellers)
One of the most basic of repairs but sadly ignored.
Here is a few simple guide to basic stitches.


Any waterproof seams that are repaired should be smeared with a sealant like PVA glue or simple UHU glue.
Both are flexible but use carefully as they take time to set and will show if they “squeeze” out of the fabric.
As an expedient measure, candle wax or Vaseline are temporary fixes BUT if you use them, glues will no longer adhere.
Another solution is to put a layer of gaffer tape behind the repair.
Thread – Forget cotton or natural fiber. Make sure it’s polyester, as it is mildew resistant.

You can use mono-filament fishing line as an expedient thread BUT it is slippy and best kept of hard wearing fabrics like canvas. Suture or fishing knots are the only effective way of jointing mono-filament line.


Gaffer tape is the king of the repair methods.
As an expedient repair material can make for a VERY good invisible repair.
Never leave home without it.

Living on the streets (6 months in London) you soon find that being clean and presentable gets a job so I used gaffer tape a lot for “quickie” repairs as did a lot of my friends.
Quite a few boots were lined with it too.
Useful in winter for stopping the ingress of water through splits and sneaker (Plimsolls) type materials.
When it rains, a layer inside your watch cap helps to keep your head warm and dry.

A basic sewing kit should consist of:
Various sewing needles but pick ones with ones with LARGE eyes.
Include a pack of curved and darning needles
DON’T FORGET A COUPLE OF THREADING AIDS.
Cold hands and threading a needle is a nightmare.

Scalpel blades or a tiny pair of scissors
Polyester thread should be included in Black, Blue, White, and Olive.
Darning wool. Any drab colour but as thick as you can get.
Safety pins
Various buttons
Gaffer Tape
UHU or PVA Glue
Mono-filament fishing line should be part of your hunting and foraging kit but 20kg is extremely useful.

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